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Maria Alejandra
Gonzalez-Gonzalez
M.Sc., Ph.D.

RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING

COLLEGE OF MEDICINE

 UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON

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Neurophysiology of the Central and Peripheral Autonomic System  Neural Interfaces & Bioelectronic Medicine

=Research for a better life quality =
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My research combines Neurosciences and Biomedical Engineering approaches to decipher networks, neurophysiology, and strategies to understand and modulate the autonomic function. The central nervous system integrates complex neuro-humoral autonomic functions that allow maintaining a balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic centers. Million people suffer life-threatening autonomic disorders: hypertension, orthostatic disorders, and autonomic dystonias that also are linked to anxiety, depression, and suicide. Some autonomic disorders are underestimated, and by understanding their etiology we will design new therapies. My research incorporates state-of-the-art Neuroscience and novel technologies in neural interfaces to study these mechanisms.

MISION:

To identify new biological mechanisms as targets to solve clinical conditions and improve life quality, by the combination of Neuroscience and Bioengineering approaches. 

VISION:

To build a strong, inclusive, and multidisciplinary research team, characterized by the passion on discovery and progress in science, being scientific rigor our flag. 

Main contributions in science:

1)  Defined a direct path from the vagus nerve to the terminal neurovascular plexus in the spleen, with relevance in the neuro-immune reflex and near-organ neuromodulation (Nature Com Biol, 2021). 

2) The discovery of new cellular niches in the periventricular zone of the cerebellum with potential for neuro-humoral communication (Nature, ScRep 2017).

3) Described the expression of inhibitory GABA-A (rho) receptors with differential pharmacology in the periventricular zone in the cerebellum. (PNAS 2014, and JNR 2014 ).

4) Implemented the use of shape memory polymers and high-performance platinized graphene fibers for neural interfacing of autonomic nerves.

4) Neuromodulation of DP nerve as a target for hypertension. 

Other Professional Competences:
-Quality Control and Documentation
-5S´s Implementation
-Pharmaceutic Industry
- Clinical Laboratories
-Forensic Chemistry
-Teaching in Neuroscince and BMEN
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